Alexandra Cranford / WWL Eyewitness News Forecast Team
A weekly discussion of the tropics from the Eyewitness News Forecast Team
A mere five days remain in the 2013 hurricane season, which will go down as one of the quietest seasons in decades.
The official totals for this season are thirteen named storms, two hurricanes and zero major hurricanes.
This season’s claims to fame:
• Had the lowest number of hurricanes since 1982
• Is the sixth quietest since 1950
• Is just the third season with below-average activity since our current active cycle began in 1995
Why was it so quiet? Many of our Talkin’ Tropics posts discussed the reasons for the calm conditions as they became apparent. Here they are again:
• Arid air from the Sahara Desert drifted out over the Atlantic and dominated the usual hurricane formation grounds. The dry, stable conditions were the opposite of the moist, unstable environment hurricanes need to thrive.
• Strong wind shear was present across the Atlantic Basin. That wind shear ripped up storms before they could really develop.
Here are the paths for this season’s storms. Only two of these, Ingrid and Humberto, made it to Category 1 hurricane status. The rest were tropical storms.
Only one of these hit the United States. That was Tropical Storm Andrea, the first of the season, which formed on June 5. Andrea brought drenching rains, minor flooding and isolated tornadoes to parts of Florida, Georgia and South Carolina.
Here in Louisiana, the tropical threat remained quite low through most of the season. Our closest brush with any serious tropical weather was when Tropical Storm Karen approached our area on Oct 3-6.
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Karen was a lopsided and unhealthy storm with nearly all its rain displaced on its eastern side. It faded to a tropical depression before its low pressure center skirted near our coast. We saw minimal effects in Louisiana and Mississippi. The heavier rain stayed well to our east.
Mexico got slammed with some of the most active tropical weather this season. Eight named storms made landfall there. Three were from the Atlantic side, and five came from the Pacific.
Bottom line: our quiet hurricane season officially ends on Saturday. Dry air and strong wind shear kept things relatively calm this season.
Thanks for reading our weekly Talkin’ Tropics discussions. This will be our final one of the 2013 hurricane season. If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com. You can also tweet us anytime at @wwltvweather or @acranfordwwl.